Some pelleted diets are better than others but how does one make that decision? Have you ever taken the time to look at the ingredients list? To be honest, I went by what was suggested to me and sounded good. Never once have I taken up a bag of bird food and truly read the ingredients…. until this year, that is. This year I’ve learned so much and started to pay attention to the back of parrot food bags.
First, you want to pick a bag that has the most natural ingredients. Next, you want to focus on how the food was processed (Currently, I’m being told TOPS is the only pellet company that is cold-pressed. Cold pressed processing helps to keep the most of the nutrients inside of the pellet instead of losing it in a hot pressed process.)
When looking at the ingredients of a bag, look for the type of preservatives they use. Synthetic ones aren’t good. BHT and BHA are two that I try to keep out of our own human lives so why would I want my birds to have it? Ethoxyquin, is another one that some have said to be dangerous for our birds. And of course another debate is Propylene Glycol. This is very sweet tasting so it makes sense for it to be put into the parrot food however I personally do not want to eat anything that is used in antifreeze for a car. You can also find it in brake fluids.
At the end of the day, I feel a bird’s diet should not consist of anything “fake” but with that being said some preservatives are needed to keep contained food fresh. Just make sure they are safe.
One thing about having birds is cleaning up after them. How does one choose the best bedding for your parrots’ home? For me it’s all about the easiest to clean up and the cheapest for my pocket but yet the safest for my little friends. So there are quite a bit of options:
Corncob: I personally have never used the stuff but it’s a bedding I’ve actually heard about quite often. Not because it’s any good but because it can kill your parrot. As a matter of fact, I believe it was this bedding that was put into the famous African Grey, Alex’s cage which got him sick and unfortunately ended his life. I could be wrong but it was a corn something that shouldn’t have been used. Corncob is deadly if ingested as it absorbs moisture. So please don’t use it.
Nothing: Yes, this is an option if you know for a fact that you will be washing the tray down everyday.
Doggy Pee Pads: I used to use these but then I heard there were chemicals in it that weren’t safe for the birds and since I couldn’t guarantee that my birds would never come in contact with it, I stopped using them.
Betta Chips: Can be scooped like kitty litter and won’t fly around like shavings. I have never tried this but definitely something I will consider.
Paper: I believe this is your best option, as it’s safe, cheap and it’s easy to clean. Plain newspaper, paper towels, moving paper (can be bought from a moving company like U-haul).
Cardboard: This was just recently suggested to me off of my youtube video on this topic by a subscriber. This individual said they cut a cardboard the same size as the tray, cover it with plastic and tape it with packing tape. That way s/he picks up the cardboard, dusts it off and places it back into the cage tray. This has definitely got my attention, I do believe I will be trying this!
Learning is always a positive thing to do. One of the many ways I stay updated and informed about parrots is by listening to parrot podcasts. When I would be at work, I would put in one earpiece, go to my podcast and click play. Many times, I had to stop working to take down notes. My cleaning routine was created off of a podcast.
The definition of a podcast based off of Dictionary.com is:
a digital audio file made available on the Internet for downloading to a computer or mobile device, typically available as a series, new installments of which can be received by subscribers automatically
I’m not sure if there are paid for podcasts but all the podcasts I’ve listened to have been free. Which I love! hahaha. So if you’re looking for other ways to expand your knowledge, definitely consider listening to podcasts. Parrotdise Perch is suppose to be offering podcast sessions every Sunday (don’t quote me as it hasn’t started yet). The podcasts on parrots that I completed was https://petliferadio.com/wingspg.html. I will continue to look for more podcasts I believe Lara Joseph has a facebook group called Level 1 and she has some podcasts in there. I’m only a part of her Parrot Project so we don’t have access to them.
If you know of any parrot podcasts please list them in the comments below so we can all continue to learn how to better our companions’ lives.
I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ve hindered my Grey’s intellect. So now I’m trying to play catch up and teach him things I never bothered to before. Why didn’t I teach him sounds, colors, numbers, alphabets? I teach it to my kids so why should teaching it to an African Grey be any different? To be honest, it shouldn’t have been. I just never truly realized their mind span or maybe I just thought if he wanted to learn he would pick it up some how…
Well now I feel guilty but I’m hoping at the age of 7, it isn’t too late. Grayson has currently learned “Wolf, Wolf” and “meow” but I’m trying to get him to say it on cue which has been my most difficult part. I say “What sound does the doggy make?” and he is suppose to respond with, “Doggy go wolf, wolf”. Yes he does say that part just not right after I’ve asked the question. He has chosen to say it when he feels like it which is still great because at least I know he has learned it so now it’s just putting it on cue.
Next I want to hear him repeat the sounds of a cow, pig, frog, rooster, duck and donkey. If you can think of any other animal sounds I can teach him please comment them below.